By far the hardest part of managing your stress is learning a new and healthier approach to your life. This can be a real challenge because we are creatures of habits and we like comfort zones, even if we are miserable in them. However, one needs to learn to cope with stress by acquiring self-discipline to exercise and developing a new philosophical outlook on life with core values.
But, a much easier way to cope with stress is through mental and physical exercise, such as simple movements, stretches, yoga, strength training, cardiovascular exercise, breathing and meditation – to name a few modalities.
These exercises can be done by anyone who is cleared to exercise by their physician (except for meditation and breathing exercises which can be done without permission). Just select a combination of modalities that suits you needs.
By exercising you will not only lessen your stress but also prevent it from reoccurring in your life to a degree that is hindering your general health. You’ll also feel great, reduce weight and tone your body, which are excellent by products or bonuses from exercising regularly.
Exercising alone is not enough. However, one needs to think well, eat a well-balanced nutrition and stay away from what I call “energy vampires.” Build a strong network of likeminded people as a support system. Stir away from negative thoughts by taking time to reconsider your thoughts. Overcome negative thinking by using positive thinking. As we can only breathe one breath at a time, likewise we can only think one thought at a time; make it a good and inspiring one.
Being conscious of your behavior is most important in behavior change. By matching your “core values” with your current behaviors, you will be able to know if you are being self-deceived by not being true to yourself and everyone around you. When invited to your best restaurant, will you stay true to your “core value” of being healthy and fit and order a nutritious meal? Or, will you indulge and order your favorite tasty foods that will no doubt make you feel as if you were the biggest liar you know, just to please your friends? That is what I call “using the power of your intention.” Expect more from yourself than from others. Exercise self-discipline!
What are your core values now? What is your behavior now? Are they matching? If not, reconsider now!